Russell Canons, Principal and Director of Construkt Architects, is a leading light in designing and developing quality homes in Auckland. Recognising this talent, Universal Homes has engaged Russell and his team to create a number of contemporary apartments and terraced homes in Northcote.
Over the past few years, one architectural firm, in particular, has forged a reputation for designing and delivering high-quality, affordable housing in Auckland – and that’s Construkt Architects. Construkt has won many high-profile awards for its work. In particular, it has been their contribution to Hobsonville Point, one of Auckland’s showcase housing developments, where they have gained the most plaudits, not only being responsible for designing the masterplan but also for around one-third of all the houses built.
In collaboration with Universal Homes, Construkt has now focussed its attention on the redevelopment of Northcote.
Site and location
“The project that we have partnered with Universal on at Northcote is part of a much larger masterplan that encompasses the regeneration of the whole suburb, including the renewal of the town centre, developed by Panuku in collaboration with Kāinga Ora, Auckland Council, Kaipātiki Local Board, mana whenua, and local community groups,” says Russell. “It’s an area well served by community facilities, the North Shore Hospital, any number of good schools for all ages, AUT University and, of course, the beautiful northern beaches. Public transport in the area is second to none, with great connections to Auckland City via the Northern Motorway.”
The specific site at Northcote that Russell and his team are developing has close access to a wide range of amenities, community facilities, transport networks, parks and walkways. When completed, the Cadness Loop Reserve will form the southern border of the lot, and at around 3,000sqm in size, it will provide green space for ball sports, playground equipment and space to socialise and relax. This reserve will also link with the proposed Awataha Greenway and eventually provide a walking path to Northcote Town Centre.
The 45 new homes are a mix of two- and three-bedroom terraces and one- and two-bedroom apartments. There are three apartment buildings arranged around the site’s perimeter to activate and define the streetscapes, whilst the row of terraces face the new reserve, taking advantage of the outlook over the wide-open green space.
“What we always focus on when we introduce density into the existing urban fabric is the awareness of the context. So, what you will see in this part of the development are strong, simple gabled forms and street frontages that clearly mark and define the street edges and, in themselves, are made up of a grain and a texture that relates to the surrounding area,” explains Russell.
“One of the trends that Universal has identified and responded to in this development is the move to apartment living in Auckland,” states Russell. “Whenever Construkt is involved in apartment developments, what we always seek to achieve is to design homes that provide maximum amenity and livability for the residents – and that comes from generous, well-planned living spaces and bedrooms, plus always ensuring we capture as much natural light and sun into the individual homes as possible.”
Where possible, outdoor spaces and balconies face outward towards the surrounding streets, taking advantage of the north, east and western aspects. All three apartment buildings will sit on a podium above street level, providing privacy to all ground floor living spaces. The use of fence screening and planting will enhance this privacy.
Russell explains, “Externally, the three apartments follow a similar gabled roofline and use similar materials to provide unity to the project, whilst a varied colour palette and glazing design provides variation and a unique identity for each section. Contrasting treatments at ground level help reduce the apparent bulk and height of the development and ‘ground’ the buildings to the site.”
The apartment buildings have dual access to both street and the central carpark areas. Several secure bike storage areas have also been located around the perimeter of the main carpark for convenience.
The terraced homes at Northcote are located along Mowai Road, facing the reserve. These homes consist of two, two-storied dwellings at either end, on the corners of the site, each with a generous ground-floor living space, and four, three-storied dwellings in the centre, which incorporate upper-level living.
“The large balconies facing the Cadness Loop Reserve will receive western sun in the evening and provide a lovely space for occupants to relax and enjoy the outlook,” says Russell. “Juliette balconies have also been provided on the northern sides of the buildings facing the carpark to make the most of the all-day sun.”
For the exteriors, a more traditional residential material palette has been applied to the terraced homes whilst keeping in with the rest of the development. An introduction of timber provides warmth and softness to the street frontage, and the saw-tooth roof form creates a point of difference and interest, as well as providing identity to each individual home.
In conclusion, Russell says that what Universal Homes have successfully achieved with this development at Northcote is, by offering both apartments and terraced options, they are providing value and well-sized homes for first-home buyers, families, investors, or for those looking to get their foot on the first rung of the property ladder in Auckland.
Thanks to Russell Cannons, Director at Construkt Architects.
Construkt is an Auckland based studio with a diverse multi-disciplinary team offering architectural, master planning, and urban design services.
New Homes Available Now
We’ve launched our selection of architecturally designed, Homestar 6 rated new terrace homes at Northcote. With significant investment over the coming decade including new and renovated parks, a new leafy greenway for walking and cycling, upgraded streets and even a refreshed town centre, your Homestar 6 rated, beautifully designed, light-filled Universal home will situate you in in the centre of this wonderful neighbourhood where you can live, work, and relax close to excellent schools, cafes and stunning beaches.
Universal Homes have already built a suite of quality new homes at Northcote, with this first group of spacious, thoughtfully designed and well-located terrace homes selling out in a matter of days. We are currently constructing new apartment and terrace homes at the Northcote development. This new release of homes is available now.
If you’d like to be first to hear about our next new home release at Northcote, simply fill out our form below and we’ll be in touch.